Is Coffee Good or Bad for you?

“Dr. Hyman, I’m so confused about coffee,” writes this week’s house call. “One day I read that it’s so bad for me and the next it’s good for me. Why all the conflicting information?”

Let’s face it: Americans love their coffee, which is the number one source of antioxidants in our diet – which actually makes me kind of sad!

In a recent animal study, researchers saw improvements in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and cholesterol when mice consumed coffee and fat together. (More on that combo in a minute.) They also found coffee can help reduce gut permeability or leaky gut.

Among its other benefits, studies show coffee decreases your risk for type 2 diabetes, lowers cancer risk and improves mood and memory. Coffee can also boost metabolism and sports performance.

On the other hand, coffee can become highly addictive, altering stress hormones while making you feel simultaneously wired and tired.

So I understand the confusion. It feels like one day we see studies that support coffee and the next day we see 10 reasons why coffee is bad. So let’s uncover the truth about this aromatic beverage that most of us love.

When to Avoid Coffee

Before jumping to conclusions, remember those blurred lines aren’t entirely about coffee itself. It also depends on the person drinking the coffee. The way you respond to coffee is often determined by genetics that affect caffeine metabolism. For one person, a cup could have them bouncing off the walls, while another person can have a triple espresso at dinner and fall fast asleep easily.

In other words, everyone is different and we all experience coffee’s effects differently. One patient complained about fatigue, restlessness and heart palpitations. Obviously, in that situation, I recommended avoiding coffee.

Likewise, if you suffer from adrenal fatigue, coffee could easily become dangerous. Some individuals might also be sensitive to coffee beans, meaning their bodies can’t tolerate them and they create unpleasant symptoms.

Constituents in coffee can also interfere with normal drug metabolism and liver detoxification, making it difficult for your liver to regulate the normal detoxification process.

Sometimes, too, I find patients substitute coffee for real food. Never ignore your hunger and eat regularly to prevent low blood sugar levels. Keep protein on hand and snack on a handful of nuts or seeds like almonds, pecans, walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

I had one patient who drank 12 cups of coffee a day yet constantly fell asleep at his desk. This person could barely function and couldn’t understand why he felt so exhausted.  The truth is he wasn’t sleeping well at night due to all the caffeine but he was too exhausted to realize it.  He wasn’t getting the proper rest his body desperately needed at the right time.

So we tapered him off coffee, and he began to sleep soundly at night, rather than nodding off  at his desk during the day.

If you fall into those categories, coffee probably isn’t for you.

Regardless, I recommend treating coffee like any other potential toxic trigger and eliminate it for at least three weeks, especially if you’re addicted and can’t seem to function without coffee or if you drink multiple cups a day.

If you need coffee every day to feel motivated or even function, you have a coffee addiction. If you have withdrawal symptoms and headaches from stopping coffee or feel like you can’t live without it, you are biologically addicted to it.  There’s also a big chance your stress hormones are out of whack and need resetting.

How to Quit Coffee   

The best way to wean off coffee is switching from drinking multiple cups to just one cup and eventually half a cup. You might also switch to green tea or herbal teas and warm lemon water.

As with any detox plan, drink adequate amounts of water and get plenty of rest during this time. I also suggest regular exercise to stabilize energy levels. Should you get irritable or have difficulty sleeping, supplement with 200 to 500 mg of magnesium citrate before bed.

My favorite detoxification rituals include a sauna, meditation and yoga. I provide powerful techniques to relax and combat stress on my website.

If you can handle it, remove coffee from your diet for three weeks and add it back in slowly. Be attentive to how you feel once you reintroduce coffee. Pay attention to your energy levels, symptoms (like anxiety or jittery feelings) or changes in digestion.

In other words, monitor how you personally respond to coffee. You are your own best doctor here.

It’s perfectly fine if you realize coffee just does not work for you. Other health-friendly beverages include green tea or non-coffee-based lattes using reishi powder and other powerful herbs.

If you find you can occasionally tolerate coffee, avoid adding milk and sugar. These two culprits do more damage than the actual coffee.

Alternately, add fat to your coffee. Once people taste the creamy, frothy goodness of fat blended with coffee, they don’t miss milk at all. You’ve probably heard of Bulletproof® Coffee, which blends MCT oil and a bit of  grass-fed butter or ghee with high-quality, organic coffee.  If you are a vegan, try adding 1 tablespoon of cashew butter for the creamy texture.

This delicious beverage keeps me satiated for hours, cuts cravings and keeps my brain extremely sharp. You can also drink this before exercise for steady energy levels without coffee’s crash.

Here is a version of my friend Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Coffee:

In a blender, add:

  • 2 cups of hot coffee (regular or decaf), ideally fresh brewed with organic beans
  • 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter or ghee
  • 2 tablespoons of organic coconut oil or 2 Tablespoons of MCT oil
  • ½ teaspoon of organic cinnamon (optional) or 1 teaspoon of organic cocoa powder for a mocha

Blend until creamy. For best results, I suggest using a metal mesh filter in your drip coffee maker or a French press.

Note: Always be very careful when pureeing hot liquids in a blender. The heat from the liquid can cause the pressure in the blender to build up under the lid, and when the blender is turned on, the top can blow off and your hot soup will go everywhere. Keep the lid vented by removing the small window insert from the middle of the blender lid; hold a towel over the open window to prevent splattering. Always start on the lowest speed possible.

The bottom line is that much no one-size-fits-all approach exists for diet and lifestyle, and that includes your coffee intake.

One person may be able to enjoy raw, cruciferous vegetables while another needs to avoid them because of digestive issues. This same thing applies to coffee. For some people it works; others, not so much.

If you’re a coffee drinker, have you ever felt like you’ve over-relied on this popular beverage? If you temporarily gave it up, how did it affect you? Comment below or on my Facebook page. And be sure to submit your questions to drhyman.com.

Wishing you health and happiness,

Source: drhyman.com

Now Even the US Attorney General Is Slandering Supplements!

Like the flawed Frontline documentary, like New York state’s attorney general, US Attorney General Loretta Lynch is spreading gross misinformation about dietary supplements. Action Alert!

Last week, Attorney General Lynch released a video for National Consumer Protection Week about supplements. Excuse us, but since when is the US attorney general an expert on this subject? Since she obviously isn’t, she must be relying on distortions and untruths she has been fed by other agencies of the government such as the FDA and Centers for Disease Control.

For instance, Ms. Lynch warns consumers against “ingesting substances whose safety and efficacy are not guaranteed” by FDA study. As we pointed out in our response to PBS, pharmaceutical drugs are also not studied by the FDA. The agency relies on industry studies to determine if new drugs can come to market. No independent review is done to check the industry’s results, which has led to all kinds of manipulation and sometimes disastrous outcomes (see the examples of Vioxx and Avandia). And after approval is granted, the actual medicine itself is never tested, even though it may be manufactured in Chinese plants or other faraway locales.

FDA approval is certainly no guarantor of safety. Consider that pharmaceutical drugs, when properly prescribed, cause an estimated 1.9 million hospitalizations and 128,000 deaths each year. And that’s just in hospitals—deaths outside hospitals would add considerably to this total if they were recorded. In stark contrast, dietary supplements caused zero deaths in 2013, the last year reported.

Ms. Lynch also charges that supplements “endanger public health” by containing harmful ingredients. The supplement industry—like all industries—has some bad actors. But supplements that contain unsafe ingredients are already “adulterated” which means that the FDA has a responsibility to remove them and prosecute the makers. Nor does Ms. Lynch mention that supplement companies must follow stringent guidelines known as current good manufacturing practices (cGMPs) intended to ensure the safety and quality of dietary supplements. In other words, supplements are federally regulated.

Finally, Ms. Lynch says that many supplements “falsely claim to cure illness and disease.” As a student of the law, Ms. Lynch must be aware that the FTC and FDA regulate what can be said on supplement labels. By law, supplements cannot make disease claims—only drugs can. Any supplement that does make such claims is therefore breaking the law. We don’t agree with this law, but if it isn’t being followed why doesn’t the government simply enforce the law. In past years, FDA memos have indicated that sometimes the agency does not enforce the law on purpose, in the hopes that an ensuing scandal will lead to even more federal control over supplements. The cost of this would in turn drive their cost sky high and largely eliminate them as competition for drugs.

No, Ms. Lynch, supplements are regulated, are safe, and are effective. Just the opposite of what you suggested. You are not a doctor or scientist. But as the top law enforcement official of the country, you can at least get your law right.

Action Alert! Write to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and urge her to correct the misinformation she spread to consumers about dietary supplements. Please send your message immediately.

Source:  anh-usa.org

Doctors Have Known For 10 Years They’re Killing You

This is one of the most-damning studies that has ever been brought to my attention.

The “standard”, if you have ever had a cardiac “event” or coronary artery disease, is to immediately place you on a statin (for the rest of your life) and, in most cases (exception: if you have ulcer issues) low-dose aspirin as a low-level anticoagulant.

Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work because it’s not targeting where the actual issue resides.

This has now been known since 2004, when this study published; the study itself was initiated in 1999.  304 patients with a history of coronary artery disease were tested and baselined.  Only those with normal glucose levels were accepted into the study; clinical diabetes was an exclusionary factor.  202 of the 304 were excluded at baseline for this reason, leaving the study authors with 102 patients.

The results ought to wake you up; they’re here in this table.

CAD Study

The CVE+ entries are for those who had a second cardiac event during the three years of the study, the CVE- entries are for those who did not.  ALL of the CVE+ entries had elevated (by double on average) insulin levels despite both groups having normal blood glucose.

Further, those who had a second event had no material difference in cholesterol levels compared to those who did not.  In other words “management” of cholesterol levels was not protective.  Finally, there was a material difference in statin use — in the negative sense, in that a greater percentage of those who had an event were taking a statin (and a nitrate!) than those who didn’t, and even worse, aspirin wasn’t protective either.

One cautionary note: All of these results are associative, as they must be in such a study.  Even though the divergence in insulin levels was ridiculous between the two groups that does not prove causation.

But remember — while associations can provide strong evidence of a connection they are just as valuable, if not more-so, in disproving said connections.  In this case it appears that both statins and aspirin are worthless when it comes to preventing a second CAD event.

Further, since all of the participants had normal glucose levels there is no intervention that targets “diabetes management” which helps in this case.  Indeed the study showed that “management” of diabetes symptoms (specifically, blood glucose levels) that allows high insulin to persist may actually potentiate — that is, cause — the second heart attack and CAD event.

There is no medicine for the condition of high insulin — that is, “insulin resistance.”  We can and do treat the symptom that it (eventually) produces, that is, high blood glucose, but the cause of the high glucose remains unaddressed.

There is, however, a means to improve your insulin sensitivity — that is, to move yourself either from that second column to the first one or at least get closer to itGet all of the vegetable oils and carbohydrates (that is, grains and starches including breads, cereals and similar), with the exception of green vegetables and modest amounts of fruit, out of your diet.

Again — this study has been out since 2004.  Why hasn’t your doctor — and especially, if you have one, your cardiologist — told you?

Further, if you’ve got evidence of CAD in your medical history why hasn’t your insulin sensitivity (NOT just cholesterol and glucose tolerance) been tested and monitored?  Is it because there is no pill for it and that the actual means of improvement available to us require admitting that the so-called “standard recommendations” for what to eat, especially for those with heart disease, are exactly backward?

Source: http://market-ticker.org/

The World Health Organization Red Meat Brouhaha

The World Health Organization (WHO) just announced that red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Yep–Right up there with glyphosate, cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos.

——–> insert facepalm <——–

This announcement is absurdly misguided and largely based upon the notoriously two least reliable forms of science we have:

1) Observational studies driven by…

2) Food questionnaires

(By the way, what did YOU have for lunch on Thursday of last week/month year?)

This is all fully based on the idea of “guilt by weak association” and any rational person knows that association is NOT causation.

UGH–Back to the nutritional Dark Ages we go…

The WHO seems to be mostly citing evidence from research based on observational studies and food questionnaires published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012, which included an analysis of “two prospective cohort studies.”[1] Similar in its failures to the ill-conceived and embarrassingly poor 2011 World Cancer Research Fund “Meta-analysis”[2]—also entirely based upon observational studies and questionnaires— ZERO distinction was made between feedlot meat and 100% grass-fed meat (a potentially huge distinction), and no real effort was made to distinguish the effect of the red meat from whatever else people happened to be eating. What did they include as “red meat?”   McDonald’s hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, tacos, bologna, nitrate-laced bacon and feedlot meat (GMO-fed and God knows what else). Although they did graciously concede that red meat is “only slightly less hazardous than preserved meats.” And red meat consumption was not separated in any way from whatever else anyone was eating or doing to their health (alcohol intake, sugar consumption, grains, etc. or other lifestyle factors). And since 97% of all meat production is commercial feedlot-based, grass-fed meat likely didn’t even factor into these results at all.

Suspiciously, too, the Archives of Internal Medicine study used what is called relative risk to show their results. “Relative risk” is frequently used to make things look far worse than they are—rather than what is called absolute risk, which really tells it like it is (but might make your results look less dramatic and, well, boring and meaningless).

It is a significant fact that cancer has been consistently reported to be extremely rare to even non-existent in red meat-eating, hunter-gatherer societies.[3],[4] What in particular has characterized the difference between even Neolithic hunter-gatherer diets and the modern-day Western diet causing us so much trouble now? Data from 229 hunter-gatherer societies included in the Revised Ethnographic Atlas indicate that hunter-gatherer diets differ from typical Western ones in basically two aspects: first, a strong reliance on animal foods (45-65% of energy or E%) and second, the consumption of low-GI [glycemic index] plant foods such as fibrous vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds.[5] But we also need to take the quality of the foods they had available to them into account and the very, very different nutrient/fatty acid profile between feedlot meat and 100% naturally grass-fed meat/wild game. Grain fed meats are predominated by potentially inflammatory omega-6 content (while being nearly devoid of healthy omega-3’s), versus 100% grass-fed and finished meat (and wild game) which supplies a high percentage of highly anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (EPA/DHA). Omega-3’s have additionally shown some significant anti-cancer benefits.[6] [7] [8]

Quality counts for a LOT and we all need to start taking that seriously. Deadly seriously.

In spite of the WHO declaration, other research has shown no meaningful link between diets higher in dietary animal fat and increased cancer risk.[9],[10] With respect to colon cancer, alone, there are many, many more (and better designed) studies finding little to no significant association with red meat and cancer than those that do, some even showing an actual lowered risk![11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25]

With respect to Paleo—at least the form of Paleo I personally recommend and the form adopted by The Paleo Way, bases its meat consumption overall on two very distinct recommendations:

  • Red meat should only come from 100% pasture fed and finished animals. NO feedlot and/or commercial processed meat!
  • I recommend meat/protein in general to be consumed in strict moderation—no more than about 1 gram per kg of ideal body weight (i.e., approximating the weight of a person’s lean tissue mass)

Excessive protein from any source is potentially bad by virtue of 1) its up-regulation of proliferative mTOR pathways 2) its increase of IGF-1, which increases non-specific cellular proliferation and 3) the excess presence of glutamine and 4) protein in excess of what we need in order to meet our basic requirements is readily (up to 40% or so) converted to sugar and used the same way. –And SUGAR (not red meat) is cancer’s #1 most essential metabolic fuel.

With respect to the benefits of exclusively grass-fed meat (over feedlot meat), a particular form of fat that has been more recently lauded for its anti-cancer benefits is one exclusively found in the fat of animals fed on nothing but natural pasture.[26] [27] [28] [29] [30]    In fact, CLA may be one of the most broadly beneficial and potent cancer-fighting substances in our diet. It is somewhat uniquely able to (in very small amounts) block all three stages of cancer: 1) initiation 2) growth/promotion and 3) metastasis. Most “anticancer nutrients” are typically helpful in only one of these areas. To date, beneficial effects of natural CLA from animal fat have been found in cancers of the breast, prostate, colon and skin. In animal studies, as little as one half of one percent CLA in the diet of experimental animals reduced tumor burden by more than 50 percent.[31]   As if this wasn’t exciting enough, there is more direct evidence that CLA may reduce cancer risk in humans. In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those having the lowest levels. Switching from grain-fed to exclusively grass-fed meat literally places women in this lowest risk category!

Additionally, French researchers measured CLA levels in the breast tissues of 360 women and found that the women with the most CLA had the lowest risk of cancer. In fact, the women with the most CLA had a staggering 74% lower risk of breast cancer than the women with the least CLA. [32]   In yet another study, human breast cancer cells were incubated in milk fat high in CLA or in an isolated form of CLA without any milk fat. The high CLA milk fat decreased cancer growth by 90 percent but the isolated CLA decreased it by only 60 percent. When the cells were incubated in the omega-6 fat, linoleic acid, found most abundantly in grain and grain-fed animals, cancer cell growth increased by 25 percent![33] Other women with the most CLA in their diets were also shown to have a 60% reduction overall in the incidence of breast cancer.[34]

Other studies have additionally shown breast cancer and even colon cancer preventative benefits.[35] [36] [37] [38] In keeping with this, CLA additionally exerts potent anti-inflammatory effects.[39] The inherent stability of CLA also seems to maintain itself even when meat is cooked.[40],[41] One study pointed out the following, Of the vast number of naturally occurring substances that have been demonstrated to have anticarcinogenic activity in experimental models, all but a handful of them are of plant origin. Conjugated linoleic acid is unique because it is present in food from animal sources, and its anticancer efficacy is expressed at concentrations close to human consumption levels.”[42]   CLA is highly abundant, too, in wild game. The implication here is that naturally occurring CLA in animal fat has always played an important role in our diets and may possibly even be a contributing factor to the near-zero incidence of cancer found in hunter-gatherer populations.[43] For all you Aussies out there, one study reported unusually high levels of CLA in (of all things) kangaroo meat![44]

ONLY CLA from the fat of wild game and fully pastured animals has the real anticancer health benefits you want.[45] Even though synthetic CLA is sold in capsules in health food stores, it lacks the beneficial form found exclusively in grass-fed meats and may even have potentially adverse effects. But I digress…

According to a research collaboration between Clemson University and the USDA in 2009, in addition to cancer-fighting CLA, fully pastured meat contains the following additional, potentially anti-cancer benefits[46]:

  • Higher in beta-carotene
  • Higher in vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
  • Higher in the B-vitamins thiamin and riboflavin and B12
  • Higher in the minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium
  • Higher in total omega-3’s[47] [48] [49]
  • A healthier ratio of (inflammatory) omega-6 to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids (1.65 vs. 4.84)
  • Higher in trans-vaccenic acid (TVA–which can be transformed into CLA)

Also, lamb/sheep fed exclusively on pasture vs. grain contains twice as much lutein (closely related to beta-carotene but more easily absorbed), which has shown possible preventative benefits with respect to both colon and breast cancer (while additionally reducing the risk of macular degeneration).[50]

So…in a nutshell, this WHO declaration will not change the recommendations I have been making all along. 100% grass-fed and finished meat (not just red meat, by the way) consumed in moderate amounts along with quality, organic fibrous plant-based foods has been and will continue to be among my foundational recommendations for optimal health.

~ Nora Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT, BCHN

 

“Red meat is NOT bad for you. Now blue-green meat, THAT’S bad for you!”

                           —Tommy Smothers

Source:  http://www.primalbody-primalmind.com/who-red-meat-brouhaha/

Lecture on vitamin C by brilliant Suzanne Humphries

Contrary to News Headlines, Robin Williams Was on Drugs at the Time of His Death—Antidepressant Drugs

    “The antidepressant found in Williams' toxicology test, Mirtazapine (Remeron), has 10 drug regulatory agency warnings citing suicidal ideation.”

“The antidepressant found in Williams’ toxicology test, Mirtazapine (Remeron), has 10 drug regulatory agency warnings citing suicidal ideation.”

If news headlines were to be believed about the autopsy findings of beloved actor/comedian Robin Williams, who tragically committed suicide nearly two months ago, no drugs were found in his system at the time of his death, as evidenced by headlines from USA Today, NBC News, the BBC and others proclaiming “no alcohol or drugs” were found. These headlines couldn’t be more wrong.

The medical examiner’s report cites an antidepressant drug was in Williams’ system at the time of his death. The particular antidepressant, Mirtazapine, (also known as Remeron) carries 10  international drug regulatory warnings on causing suicidal ideation.

According to the autopsy results, not only was Williams under the influence of antidepressant drugs, but the powerful antipsychotic Seroquel was also found at the scene and appears to have been recently taken by Williams. While toxicology tests apparently were negative for the antipsychotic Seroquel, the fact remains that a bottle of Seroquel prescribed to Williams on August 4th,  just seven days prior to Williams’ suicide, was missing 8 pills. The Seroquel instructions advise to take one pill per day as needed. Side effects associated with Seroquel include psychosis, paranoid reactions, delusions, depersonalization and suicide attempt.

The question that has to be asked is why the press continues to promote the idea that no drugs were found in Williams’ system? At what point did mind-altering psychiatric drugs, which have side effects rivaling those of heroin or crack cocaine, stop being called drugs? And for those in the press who did “mention” the fact that Williams was found to have antidepressants in his system, the acknowledgement seems to promote the fact that “therapeutic concentrations” of prescription psychiatric drugs “improved his condition and kept him active until his death.”

This is a highly misleading take on the events leading to Williams tragic suicide, especially in light of the fact that not only was Williams receiving mental health “treatment,” he was under the supervision of a psychiatrist, was not abusing illegal drugs and had not “fallen off the wagon.”

The facts regarding antidepressant drugs are these:

  • Food and Drug Administration’s Medwatch Adverse Drug Reports include 470,000 adverse reactions for psychiatric drugs between 2004-2012. The FDA admits only 1% of side effects are ever reported to them, so the actual number of reported side effects is assuredly much higher.
  • Mirtazapine (also known as Remeron) carries the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) “Black box” warning for suicidality.
    • There are ten warnings of suicide associated with Mirtazapine alone and suicide is among the top 2 side effects reported to the FDA on this particular antidepressant
  • The FDA’s MedWatch drug adverse event reporting system recorded 411 attempted and completed suicides associated with the antidepressant Mirtazapine alone (and the FDA estimates only 1% of side effects are ever reported to them)
  • 90,000 emergency room visits are attributed to psychiatric drugs each year in the U.S.
  • 23,755 suicides are attributed to psychiatric drugs each year in the U.S. alone.

Given the above data, one can only wonder why Williams’ psychiatric drug use has effectively been dismissed by reporting organizations. A careful review of Williams’ psychiatric “non-drug” use paints a very different tragic story.

What was found in Williams’ system were prescription psychiatric drugs with side effects that not only rival illegal street drugs, but also carry the FDA’s “Black box” warnings—the federal agency’s most serious warnings—about increased thoughts of suicide.

The fact is that two of the drugs Williams had been prescribed list suicidal thoughts as possible side effects. The Seroquel he was prescribed (and appears to have taken in the week prior to his suicide), and the antidepressant that was still in his system at the time of his suicide.  Moreover, considering the FDA’s Medwatch drug adverse event reporting system recorded 411 attempted and completed suicides associated with the antidepressant Mirtazapine alone (and the FDA estimates only 1% of side effects are ever reported to them), it becomes even more bizarre that the world’s press ignore even the possibility that these drugs could be involved in Williams’ suicide.

The much-loved comedian’s death is a great loss, but the tragedy is further compounded by the mainstream press glossing over the serious and well-known association between suicide and the psychiatric drugs Williams was taking. If only the sentiments from one of Williams’ finest roles in Awakenings had been taken literally in his personal life: “The human spirit is more powerful than any drug and that is what needs to be nourished: with work, play, friendship, family. These are the things that matter.”

 

Source: cchrint.org